I went out yesterday to do the first mesurement of the course. I still have 360 yards to put into the marathon and a bit to put into the half when I've got the marathon done.
It starts and finishes at the Harris Museum. Goes along Ringway towards Leyland and turns back around the Copp Lane area (got that bit to sort). Back into the City, round by the Unviersity, along Tom Benson Way, then out to Cottam, Salwick, Treales and almost to Inksip before returning through Cottam and Tom Benson Way to finish at The Harris.
The half will return from Cottam/Salwick.
It's an undulating course. No major hills but a challenging course nonetheless. The start and finish area is a great location, and with all the trappings that go wwith a quality event, it should be quite a spectacle.
Mind you if the wind is as bad as the last couple of days, it will be tough.
Not sure yet whether to run it, referee it or just do the comentary.
Do I take it that you've got the job of actually designing the marathon course, AND certifying it's accuracy?
If so, then I have to admit that I'm surprised you're considering sending us out towards Inskip because from Cottam back to Cottam (via Salwick, Treales, Wharles, Inskip, Moorside, Woodplumpton and Higher Bartle IF I'm understanding you correctly) means you'll be giving us all a whole half marathon 'out in the sticks'. ...which just reminds me of the motivation sappin wilderness docks phase of London, but twice as long and in our own back yard.
However, I'm pleased you're not considering a 2 lap half marathon course, (cos yes, they're totally boring as hell so seriously reduce entries), BUT! ...surely you can keep the route a lot more central and actually in Preston itself? ...which, let's face it, is where all our friends, family and Guild crowds will be to easily cheer us on.
For example, as a kid in the '72 Guild I can vividly remember the crowds lining New Hall Lane as we paraded festively with bands et al. The atmosphere was just sheer electric to say the least. If you send us out of town for a good HALF of the course then how can the Guild crowds participate?
Or are you indicating with the above course that you've been warned away from the centre? Surely the whole of Preston will be virtually shutting down for this "one race day in 20 year" event anyway?! Can't you persuade them a little more? lol.
I'm not a marathon course designer but it makes total sense to me to ideally have half of your route (or thereabouts) to the south below the Ribble line of Preston then the other half to the north, just specifically because this enable a good 80-90% of Preston Guild people to actively get involved with this marathon, and either run it or support us en route on the day.
How about giving us a course a bit more like this for example, or something pretty similar? Surely the upcoming PR machine about to ensue over the coming 6-10 months realises the importance to Preston of your marathon igniting the spirit of the people to actively engage socially, so that it makes more commercial sense afterwards?
I hope you can give the attached some serious consideration...
...as I certainly can see that straight route out of town into Penwortham that you envisage, but then keeping to all the main dual carriageways so that Penwortham, Leyland and Bamber Bridge folk can come out en masse to support us. Then back into town with the struggle coming up London Rd hill at mile 9 would be fun, as would the crowds bustling all down New Hall Lane and along Blackpool Road before we see lots cramming onto the Garstang Road Bridge at mile 15, just where we need them to be before we hit your long stretch along Tom Benson Way keeping us uplifited. A busy Blackpool Road to a good turnaround point back along Riversway into town would also be incredibly motivating before a last final surge up along North Road, down to Ringway and back into your Museum area would leave us totally on an true emotional high! ...What a finish, and event, fitting for the Guild title. Plus, crowds can easily move from the start to New Hall Lane, to PNE, to Mile 19 and back to the finish for us.
Feel free to totally steal this route for yourself, as I my only intention here in sticking my nose in is that you "give us an absolute cracking course that's teeming end to end almost 80-90% of the way with Preston's great townsfolk", as to me that atmosphere is what the Guilds are all about. Sending us out into the sticks just isn't going to achieve that.
Looking forward to seeing what you can arrange for us all Brian. Hopefully, a very exciting Guild race ahead.
PS. Gmap-pedometer for runners gets the mileage to 26.12, but when you get 'on yer bike' and find you need a little bit of extension then the obvious easy point to accomodate that would be your extending cone trick taken up at the A583 Blackpool Road/Riversway turnaround point between mile 21 and 22. Leave it with you. Cheers!
(Apologies for the long winded post!)
I'm looking to do my first marathon this year and really don't like running in the heat so wanted an October one.The one closest to me (town moor) is 5 laps and I think that is too much to hope for for a first timer.
Will the course be similar to the Preston 1/2 on Monday....did that and loved it, although the wind was fun!
I would try here
In my section at work looks like we may have 3 for the full (1 entered last night) and 3 for the half in October.
...or if that's not clickable, you could try directly downloading their printable form here.
Just a thought ....Does Brian ever come on here much ...or do you think we're stuck with a marathon course that goes out into the middle of nowhere already?!
I hope not ...as a good few thousand will join us in this, but more importantly, thousands more Guild family and friends will be along the course creating a brilliant atmosphere if we can get this right.
Come May when we start getting everyone and his dog out training it's the course that will make or break the number of entries and eventual atmosphere along the route on the day, but we're going to be facing fields of animals for a good middle 13 miles at this rate.
Fingers crossed hope he shows up soon. The Police and Preston council will most likely want everything nailed down and finalised by Easter so they're not giving him much time to get a decent route for us.
I am defo going to do this one but can't help thinking you have a romantic vision on how much interest it will attract. I really think Brian will come up with a cracking route and it will be a great event but streets lined with crowds..................for real!!!!
Yes, and if I'm honest, I'm a bit concerned you could be right...
See, one thing is for certain. If it's an out of town route for a good half of the course (see Brian's post above describing the route on 29th Dec) then the whole day will simply become a complete non event. The people of Preston won't even bother to get involved in the Guild year spirit and start training for it about May time, and certainly families won't even bother to come out and watch. After all, who's going to support runners as soon as we start leaving the town area and go out into the fields?
Guilds are about the local communities of Preston coming together in large numbers and this can't possibly happen if the powers that be design a route that doesn't enable it. What a let down that would be.
If you look at the link to the route I suggested then at least the people who live in Penwortham, Leyland, Bamber Bridge, or near London Road, New Hall Lane, Blackpool Road (2 good long stretches), PNE, Fulwood, Garstang Road, Tom Benson Way, Riverside, Fylde Rd, town, etc, could very easily come and watch runners go by if they so wanted to, but how can they do that if we are sent out into sticks for a good half of the course??
It's a Catch 22 really and out of our hands. We'll be lucky to get 1,000 runners with the current course and barely any atmosphere.
I remember when Guilds we're really magnificient events to remember and the whole town virtually switched off for a week, so perhaps I am dreaming yes, and this whole marathon thing is just a PR stunt, but it's the course that will determine whether local communities will join in and particpate in vast numbers or not. Nothing else. We'll have to wait and see.
If you read between the lines from Brian's post it is not his route at all. The council have given him most of it and all he can do is tweak here and there. I had an similar vision to Pete of a course round the city packed with crowds but honestly thought it would never happen at all until I found out the council were doing it. All the messing in Blackpool over the years by the council and the hoo hah in Liverpool over the marathon. At least a local team got Liverpool going and Blackpool are back on again. Just goes to show if the council backs it races will happen.
It could have been the start of something big but I don't think so now all well there is another one in 20 years.
May do the series but only the half to get the "Preston Guild series" tee shirt.
Keith OB wrote (see)
Can you give examples of "All the messing in Blackpool over the years by the council..."?
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